AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Piedmont Augusta and Augusta Tech have partnered up. Augusta Tech’s Allied Health Sciences are now at the Piedmont Summerville Campus. The Piedmont Augusta Foundation raised over one million dollars in scholarships for eligible nursing students.

“This is an associate degree nursing curriculum, track, and it’s an accelerated program. It’s really challenging. It’s a two-year program that they’ve put into an 18-month timeframe, which is great for our hospital, because we need nurses now,” said Laurie Ott.

Thanks to support from around the community the scholarships will help students who may not have had the opportunity to attend nursing school.

“This will grow the Augusta Tech Nursing Program from fifty students a year to two hundred and fifty or more by the end of five years. So that’s going to be a huge shot in the arm for our hospitals who need nurses today,” said Ott.

The nurses who’ve received the first two scholarships are not only enjoying the program, they’re also thankful for anyone that helped make this happen.

“I’m able to spend a lot more time at school, and I’m able to spend a lot more time studying, and with my head in the books than I have to spend at work, and it also lets me spend more time with my daughter,” said Scholarship Recipient, Laura Deford.

“This is a very condensed program, it is very high paced, and it requires a lot of focus, and so not having to worry about the financial aspect of it allows me to focus completely on the education portion,” said Scholarship Recipient Christy Alexander.

These scholarships are sure to help plenty of other nurses achieve their goal.

“Nurses are caring people and we want to do all we can to facilitate and smooth the path to them achieving their goal which is to take care of patients,” said Ott.

“Completing it will be amazing. I’m doing it for me, and I’m also doing it for my children, to let them know it’s never too late to follow your dreams,” said Alexander.